Following William Fox-Pitt's second Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials title, we take a look back through the Horse & Hound picture archives to celebrate some of his top horses, including both his Badminton winners
The man of the moment — Chilli Morning, winner of this year’s Badminton Horse Trials. Here William and the Phantomic stallion are pictured during the 2013 European Championships, where they took home the individual bronze medal. William took over the ride on “Chilli” in 2012, after the horse had spent a brief time with Mary King. He was produced to CCI4* level by Nick Gauntlett, who rode him at both Burghley and Luhmuhlen.
William riding Parklane Hawk to win Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2011. This was the horse’s first CCI4*, and the pair won with more than a fence in hand from thier closest rivals, Andrew Nicholson and Nereo. They have enjoyed multiple successes at Burghley, taking third in 2012 and fourth in 2013, as well as winning Kentucky CCI4* in 2012.
The famous Tamarillo, out of an eventing mare formerly ridden by Lucinda Green and by the Polish endurance stallion Tarnik, was a great partner for William, with wins at both Badminton and Burghley as well as team medals in an Olympics, two World Equestrian Games, and a European Championships. His clone, Tomatillo, was born in 2013 in New Mexico, a foal that William described as “stunning”.
Seacookie joined William’s yard in 2008 from Ingrid Klimke, who had produced him since a four-year-old. “Cookie” had finished second at several events, including Burghley in 2010, before clinching his most notable win in the CCI4* at Pau in 2013, with William remarking that he “deserved to win one”. Seacookie was retired from competition at the age of 16 in March 2015.
Stunning, an ex-racehorse by Ring The Bell, was ridden up to CCI3* level by Mark Todd before joining William’s yard in 1999. He was fourth at Kentucky CCI4* in 2002 but he was a real three-star specialist, with wins at Blenheim, Thirlestane, Chatsworth and Lulworth to his name as well as taking the Britsh Open Championship in 2003. In his retirement, he enjoyed hunting with the Portman with William’s head groom Jackie Potts.
Pie In The Sky II
Pie In The Sky II, by Sky Boy, competed with William for four seasons before eventually being bought by Philip Adkins, who also rode and owned Williams 2007 Burghley winner and 2008 Olympic ride Parkmore Ed.
Successful four-star horse Macchiato is an Argentinian-bred horse by Octante who raced in Australia before William bought him from a video. He won at Luhmuhlen on his CCI4* debut and won at CCI3* level at Blair and Bramham. He was retired from eventing in 2013.
Neuf Des Coeurs
French-bred Neuf Des Coeurs made his debut with William as a six-year-old in 2007, and has since enjoyed top three placings in the international classes at Blair, Chatsworth, and Bramham, as well as a third place at Luhmuhlen CCI4* in 2013.
William on Cool Mountain, a horse by the great thoroughbred stallion Primitive Rising, who also sired Grand National runner Big Fella Thanks. Cool Mountain was third at Pau CCI4* in 2013 having already won Kentucky CCI4* in 2010 with William.
Crowd-favourite Ballincoola, or “Max”, finished in the top 15 at Burghley CCI4* for five successive years between 2004-2008, including a win in 2005. He was named British Eventing horse of the year in 2008 before the ride passed onto his owner’s son, Fergus Payne, who competed him at CCI2* and 3* level. Max tragically suffered a fatal heart attack while at a showjumping competition in 2010, aged 16.
William’s great campaigner Moon Man finished in the top five on 42 occasions during his career, including winning the British Open Championships twice. He was found by Vere Phillipps in a Sligo trekking centre as a five-year old, and was famously ridden by Madonna when she took lessons with William in 2006.
Faerie Sovereign was by the great Ben Faerie, who was also the sire of Ginny Elliott’s hugely successful campaigner, Priceless. William and “Bobby” were third at the National Young Rider Championships in 1990 at Bramham and competed in the CCI3* at Burghley the same year.
Chaka, a gelding by Spectrack, was seventh at Badminton in 1993, and gave William the first of his record six Burghley wins in 1994, despite having deposited William in the ditch at the Vicarage Vee at Badminton earlier in the year.
“Steady”, as he was known at home, was a prolific winner for William in his days at junior and young rider level. The pair won six medals including an individual silver and two team golds, before William’s first Badminton in 1991, where they finished 19th. Steadfast was put down aged 21 after succumbing to a serious infection. William fondly described him as a “real gentleman”.
WIlliam with Solitaire II, who was a successful campaigner at intermediate and advanced level. One of the few mares William has ridden in his career, the bay by Suvarov stood just 15.3hh.